Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Window on Provence...errrr...London!

I left you at the end of the Millennium Bridge yesterday...hope the night temps didn't get to you!

You would probably be able to count the steps from the end of the bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral, the Church of England's mother ship, built in the late 17th century - on the same site of an original church built in 604 A.D. and named in honor of the apostle, Paul.  You can see the bones of its English Baroque style (built to a design by Sir Christopher Wren, highly regarded architect in his time - but not without some controversy...true of many artists - after the great fire of London)...
St. Paul's Cathedral, London - Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married here.

What's with the crowd you ask?  Busy tourist day in London town?

That mass of bodies milling around in the front of the cathedral is the US Occupy Wall Street Movement's baby sister in the UK.  A very civilized crowd they were.  (But of course there were!  They're British...stay calm and carry on...)  These folks were listening to speakers and volleying questions...although honestly, it appeared that some were there just to enjoy lunch in the sun around the premises. 

A quick turn to your left and you'll see this...

...the temporary housing for the current occupiers who are making peaceful statements against the current status quo.  Not quite in the English Baroque style but functional, non?  And do you see that sign in the background?  It pretty much sums up the movement's mission statement...

All in all, a very peaceful group comprised of a mix of people you wouldn't necessarily see sitting on steps or sharing tents together.  St. Paul's Cathedral has seen its share of controversy around the encampment of this recent movement, but continues to host the group in the spirit of generosity and service to all.

Regardless of your political persuasion, you gotta give a little shout out to peaceful calls for "Power to the People"!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mardi Meteo

I teased my friend in London while I was there about the weather.  "What are you Londoners always complaining about with the weather??!  It's lovely here!"

Of course, I know well that this city can look pretty grey and dreary day after day but she sparkles when the sun is out and the skies are brilliant blue.  I was lucky.  Each day was beautiful!

A walk along the River Thames path took me to the Tate Modern museum.  (I love the feel under my feet of their soft wooden plank floors.  That's not the only thing I like about the Tate Modern but it deserves mention.)  In front of the museum, a pedestrian bridge spans the river. Commonly known as the Millennium Bridge, its proper name is the London Millennium Footbridge - which says it all.

I stepped on in front of the Tate Modern....
The Millennium Bridge in front of the Tate Modern
...and stepped off on the other side, just a hop, skip and a jump from St. Paul's Cathedral.  (More about the cathedral tomorrow...)

The Millennium Bridge view toward St. Paul's Cathedral

The weather back in my own 'hood is a bit cooler (but not much - we're not donning mittens yet!) with hazy sunshine.   Lovely, really.

And you?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Little World Views...London

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, Trafalgar Square, London

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Lots of catching up happening chez La Fourchette.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Heart London...

Trafalgar Square

...and I heart my friends even more! 

{Ever so lovely to see you and hang out with the fab London peeps.  I had a wonderful, wonderful time.  I'm already looking forward to next time!  I could even sing say:  You're just too good to be tru - ue...   ;}

We'll be celebrating London all week so drop back in for a little tour of this grand city.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brrrrrrring, Brrrrrrring!

London calling!

I'll be back at it on Sunday.

To all of my American gentle readers, have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday.  Even in the midst of the current struggles, there is much for which to be thankful, non?

un petit mot:  Bodhi thanks you all for the lovely birthday wishes!  eurrrfff, eurrrfff.

à dimanche!

Heading out for the Friday shopping?  
Check off any Franco-philes on your list with a lovely set of note cards.

Place your orders at:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mardi Meteo

Looks a little hazy out there but the temps are surprisingly mild for November in these parts. 

Did I mention "Il est arrivée!"?  The beaujolais, that is. 

Yes, that's right.  Just after 'strike season' in early November comes the arrival of the new beaujolais, a Gamay wine that is released just 6-8 weeks after its harvest.  One wine critic refers to it as being 'like eating cookie dough'...which is to say, not one of the region's finer products and certainly not up to the standards of long-in-the-barrel, artfully made wines.   

The glass I had the other evening to accompany a couple of slices of gooey mozzarella-topped pizza - tasted very good. was a bit fruity, but there was enough ummph to balance the unctuous cheese-topped pie.  That aforementioned wine critic is right, as often the beaujolais is, what we might call in the 'hood, 'plonk' - but this wine was enjoyable enough. 

Perhaps it's just a very good year for beaujolais.


PS:  Today is Bodhi's birthday!  He's a rompin' five-year old now.

The French Collection Cards
Place your orders at:

Monday, November 21, 2011

We're Not In Kansas Anymore...Or Even In California! (la deuxième partie)

...continued from yesterday...

We left Sébastien yesterday singing into his headset: 

"Californieeeeeee!" he sang.  "Take me with you!"

I laughed but he went on with his inquiry. "Do you go back often?  How often?  What do you do here for work?"

We were chatting away, Sébastian et moi, and the EDF refund somehow faded into the background.  Can you believe it?  Me...chatting away in French.  And him...understanding every word.  I can't even begin to count the days when I thought this would be impossible - and yet here I am these days, navigating this lovely language almost adequately.

Then he swiftly made a U-turn and headed in his original direction:  "Next time you go to California, take me with you!  I could carry your bags!"

I laughed - again - and said, "You'd be carrying my dog...he can be a bit of a load on a long flight."

We both laughed and the conversation then slowed to a stop at its logical end-point with all of the details about the refund and when it would likely show up on my bill.

I thanked him.  He wished me a good day.  I returned the pleasantry.  The call ended.  I went on ticking things off my 'to do' list.

Less than a minute later, my portable phone chimed, indicating that a text message had been received.  I looked at the screen to find a text from a number I didn't recognize: "Mme. Ray?"

"Oui," I sent back.  (Sometimes new clients call/text this number so this was not all that unusual.)

The immediate response: "Emmenez moi en Californieeeee!!!! Sébastien"   Take me to Californieeeeeeee!

All I could do was LOL!

This would never happen in the US!  I thought as I typed back my response (and neither would that!), which was simply:    ;}

Another chime rang in his response:  "Vous n'avez pas dit non, c'est bon signe, j'ai bon espoir! :[)?"  You have not said no, that's a good sign, I'm hopeful.

"Pas de chance" I tapped in, "c'est mon petit chien qui a dit 'non'!  (Il est jaloux.) Mais vous avez me fait rire. It is my dog who said 'no'. (He is jealous.) But you made me laugh.   And I sent it off into the ethers.

A few minutes later I received the final message in the exchange:  Je vous souhaite une très bonne journée."   I wish you a very nice day!

The entire experience made me smile...'when in Rome', as they say. 

I think this place is rubbin' off on me.   The evidence of that?  The fact that I found Sébastien's behavior charming - because flirting here is an art form which many French women appreciate... and what's more,  that I could actually participate in the entire exchange in French...and apparently with a "jolie accent"!

For all the difficult days when I'm swept away by the thought:

What was I thinking by moving to France?!? 

But days like this feel more like:   

Perhaps the eagle has landed.  

You saw this lovely old dear dressed in springtime green here.
Hope you're week is off to a great start...wherever you are...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We're Not In Kansas Anymore...Or Even In California!

A random wall in Paris
Was the past week of iPhone mania too much?  Perhaps but!  What a rush that's been.

There must be a middle path in here somewhere.  We'll start today and see where we go...

...and speaking of things getting out of control...

Last week I called EDF (the French electric company) to request a refund for a fee they charged in error (another long story.)

After punching all of the appropriate numbers and symbols on my telephone, I landed in the headset of a fellow named 'Sébastian'.  I explained the situation and my request for the refund, which was met with a pause on his end.  I usually fill this quiet space by rattling off something like, "Est-ce que vous comprenez?  Je suis desolée.  Je ne parle pas bien français."*

Do you understand?  I'm sorry.  I don't speak French well.

His quick response of "Si, si! Vous parlez très bien.  J'ai compris tout ce que vous avez dit,"** was very encouraging but it got better.

** No, no!  You speak very well.  I've understood all that you've said."

He continued (in French but for the sake of speed here...), "In fact, you have a very pretty accent.  What country are you from?" and before I could squeeze an answer into the small space he'd provided, he added, "Are you English?"  (I get this a lot.  I don't have that American 'r' that ends up sounding like a car grinding gears.  The French 'r' can be a little tricky for American tongues to manage.)

"No, I'm American," I replied.

"Ooooh!  American," he cooed.  "Why are you in France?  Are you being punished?"

I laughed, but it's not uncommon for people to ask in an incredulous tone why I left the US to move to France.

"No, no.  I'm not being punished," I said, "in fact, I made the choice to live here."

"C'est pas vrai!" He continued in this vein - like a miner sifting for gold. "From what region?"

"California," I said.

Voilà!  He'd struck it rich.  There was gold in them thar words! 

"Californieeeeeee!" he sang.  "Take me with you!"

To be continued...

Bon dimanche à tous!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little World Views

The wall on the left is the back of what is now the Court of Appeals.  Back in the day, it was the prison.
Bonne fin de la semaine tout le monde!


Cards available in two places.
Place your orders at:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Little Piggy Went To...


Bonne journée,

The next batches of cards have gone out to those clever early shoppers!
Now available in two places.
Place your orders at:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Window on Provence

Around the corner from me lives this...

...and although I pass it at some point almost every day, 
there are only a few moments when the sun hits it just right.  
This is almost one of them.


La Fourchette has been cookin' at turbo speed!  Check out the new shop on Etsy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mardi Meteo

See what I mean?  Balance is not on the horizon this week!

Dusk in the newer part of this old ville...and don't get me started on those lights!

But more rain is.  Fortunately, there was a duck somewhere in my ancestral lineage so it doesn't ruffle my repellent feathers. 

What does this mid-November day offer in your 'hood?


The first orders of cards have been sent out!  wooohooo!  Get a jump on your holiday shopping here!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Madness...

...with the new toy.
This evening's sunset.  Splendid, non?

Bear with me.  I'll find my balance's just not going to be this week!

Hope your week is off to a fabulous start!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lordy, Lordy!

Wait 'til you hear...

Long story short:  my Blackberry (boo hiss!) sizzled and sputtered to a blank screen staring back at me mid-call yesterday with no resuscitation possible. 

Not that I really wanted it resuscitated, mind you -  I've been waiting for this moment! 

As my current contract ended yesterday, I made a beeline down to my neighborhood phone store to plunk down my pennies saved for a new...yes, you guessed it - iPhone.  (Thank you, Mr. Jobs...and everyone at Team Apple.)

In the current vernacular (which I am loathe to actually use unless the situation calls for it - and this is one of those situations): o.m.g.

I think I'm in love.  Look:

No...not ringin' your chimes?  Something a little to say? ... 'Blues Brothers-y'?  How about this?

Oh, I know, I know.  I'm still figuring it out but ... but as I said at the start, "Lordy, lordy..." 

I'm a very happy girl.  Even the goofing around is off-the-charts kind of fun.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday at the Marché...

...plein de soleil! *

We are drenched in sunshine this morning, which always dresses up the outdoor market and struts her out in her Sunday Saturday best.

Kris, from la reportiste asked yesterday what the temperature is during these autumn days.  To that I would say, "Far milder than usual at this time of year!"  Today is in the lo- to mid-60's (That's Fº.  It seems much cooler in Cº, as that system puts us in the mid-teens.)

Enjoy the market with me.

Wishing you all a lovely Saturday.

*  full of sunshine
Would shopping at La Fourchette count as a "Small Business" on 26 November's Small Business Saturday?  Why not?!

Little World Views

This autumn gold of this neighborhood tree (shimmering even in black and white) has been stolen by a couple of local bandits:  the recent storm and a cold wind that whipped through this evening.  Ahhh...but it was lovely while it lasted. 

Did you suspect another disappearing act?  Nahhhh...just a really busy day.  I'll be back with a little something for Saturday in the morning and we should be all caught up.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little World Views

Lovely to wake up to sunshine!  My neighbor is taking the opportunity to catch up on the lave-linge*.



Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wednesday Window on Provence

My current fashionable attire...

...because, yup!  It's still a-stormin' out there! 

Something more suitable for my adorable, high-stepping Bodhi might be found in this assortment.... go along with his tutu. 

No, just kidding.  He does have a lovely hand-knitted hoodie for the winter months but no tutu...yet! 

And yes, since you asked...that is a halo!

Watery good wishes from this soggy corner of the south of France,
leslie...and bodhi

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Paris, Je T'Aime!

You and your summer blue skies! 

I know a fluffy little dog who will be doing the Happy Dance when he sees blue skies again.  He doesn't like to get his feet wet, you see.  He's a sight when we go for our afternoon walk between downpours:  he tiptoes down the cobblestones with a modified high-step - a move he must have learned from some fancy-stepping horse somewhere when I wasn't watching!

Here's to blu-er skies!

splish - Ciao - splash...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday Morning at the Louvre

No...not really.  Just looking for a little ray of sunshine in our string of stormy days...

...and I think I found one!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Little World Views

A perfect spot to spend a Saturday morning!

Bon weekend à tous!

Are you counting the shopping days?  
Check your list for Franco-philes then ask the elves 
at La Fourchette to get to work on a card order for you.  
They're friendly and pleasant and I love having them around 
(even though they sing constantly)
so let's keep 'em busy!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Little World Views

Signs of autumn in our fair ville. 

Enjoy your Friday!

Are you counting the shopping days?  
Check your list for Franco-philes then ask the elves 
at La Fourchette to get to work on a card order for you.  
They're friendly and pleasant and I love having them around 
(even though they sing constantly)
so let's keep 'em busy!  

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Did You Catch the French Collection Card Launch?

Yesterday's stealth launch may be easier to find with these magic glasses...

See it now?

Right up at the top, under the curve of the fork, you'll see the link:  Shop French Collection Notecards.

Now do you see it?  Drag your cursor up there and click.


Four, count 'em, four selections of note cards now available for purchase!

Themes for these initial sets include:  summer, autumn, black and white and holidays.  Starting in January, a new set will be available each month.

Need more information about these lovely cards?  Here's what Ann Knickerbocker, winner of the summer "Fork It Over" give-away, had to say about her prize:

"The cards are really beautiful! The photographs are perfect (I am going to have particular trouble sending off the coffee cup from Nice) and the size is generous, meaning I won't have to spill onto an extra piece of paper when I write... They are gorgeous."

Shipping is included!

More items to come so plan to check back!

Enjoy your Thursday...


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jour de Ferié: Toussaint

We have a jour de ferié (holiday) today:  Toussaint (All Saints).

For the European countries in which Catholicism reigns, the first of November is set aside to honor all saints.  As far as I can gather, that means all of 'em - past, present and future.  On this day, the faithful send a little shout out to all of those souls who live in the bliss of charitable and merciful comportment day in and day out.  Blessed be those souls who....

Although it is not to be confused with the day set aside to commemorate all of the faithful departed (which is tomorrow, 2 November), that is exactly what ends up happening.  In France, this first day of November is a catch-all day and cemeteries across the land grouille (teem) with people taking the holiday to attend special masses...

 ...and honor friends and family who've passed on by leaving pots of flowers at grave sites.

Some sites have porcelain perennials as a commemoration...

...while others are donned with pots of chrysamthemums - a traditional symbol of loss, death and grief in France...

...which one can pick up conveniently at businesses strategically located at the entrances of the

...and here...

Note:  Because the chrysanthemum flower is recognized in France as a symbol of mourning, it is considered to be to say?...rather bad form to show up at a dinner party with a lovely pot of these autumn-y blooms for the hostess.  In fact, the only house you want to show up at carrying a colorful pot of chrysanthemums would be one like this...and even so, for the most part, you're likely to do that only on this ferié de Toussaint.

Enjoy your day, wherever you may or not!

Uploaded by velik6086 on May 14, 2007


You migh also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...